A point, granted - but otherwise an unsatisfying encounter for all concerned parties. Can Ffion Thomas winkle out any positives? She'll do her darndest.
It was a nervy atmosphere from the start all around Loftus Road, and the muted reaction to the final whistle – with a smattering of boos from both sets of fans – reflected how a point isn’t much use to either of us, though QPR were well worthy of theirs and probably deserved to win on the balance of chances. In fact, given at this stage it would be more humane for our dying season to be taken outside and shot, with hindsight a late QPR winner would have been quite fun; I would have liked to have seen rockstar manager Gareth Ainsworth doing air guitar down the touchline.
Isaac Hayden, as I live and breathe. I had pretty much forgotten he existed but the ghost of Dean Smith still haunts Colney. With our current injury problems it’s timely to have another option back in that position and a bit of rustiness is to be expected for a first appearance since December, but there are shipwrecks less rusty than this performance and he was lucky to get away with the first-half tackle that had the QPR bench up in arms. Marquinhos also got a start and contributed little other than giving Ilias Chair the space to create QPR’s goal, before being hooked at half time.
There are only three games of the season left!
£36 a ticket for the majority of the away allocation at a Championship football match is pretty outrageous, especially in the cramped environs of the School End. My ticket in the rail seating section at the very back of the upper tier was at least only £30 but had no view of the goalline at our end, so in the first half I couldn’t see that QPR had hit the post from close range, and in the second half I couldn’t see that we had scored. (Actually, that was more because I was still having a pint and a chat in the concourse and didn’t realise we had kicked off.)
Adam Idah. His attitude and effort can never be faulted and he piled in where he was needed to stick away the loose ball at the back post, then did one of my favourite things a scorer can do by telling his team-mates to stop trying to celebrate with him and get the ball out of the net and back to the halfway line. Our best spell of the game was the 20 minutes after his introduction and we really should have taken control at that point.
I went to Middlesbrough on Friday fully expecting to lose (albeit not quite in that manner) but for the trip to QPR was more confident of a win, both as a reflection of our opponents’ dreadful form, in anticipation of the promised reaction to that Boro performance, and with the carrot of a potential return to the top six. However, this error-strewn, stodgy performance was not one of a team that are going to get into the play-offs, and if we somehow do still stumble into them – which is still a possibility, given how utterly mediocre this season’s Championship is – I’m not sure I’d even want to witness the inevitable bloodbath of two legs against Middlesbrough or Luton. Stick a fork in us. (But I’ll see you at Swansea, West Brom and Blackpool, just in case.)
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